Accepted Paper:

Paying for parenthood: money and kinship in assisted reproduction  

Author:

Venetia Kantsa (University of the Aegean)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on recent research on assisted reproduction in Greece I am interested in the interrelation of kinship to time and thus to money. In spite of this, the notion of motherhood as a gift and the emphasis on the role of experts hides this interrelation and underscores the fact that kinship, after all, is an expensive product that not all people can afford.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on recent research on assisted reproduction in Greece I would like to explore in this paper the interrelation of kinship to time and thus to money.

In the context of assisted reproduction time is always present in relation to age, the ripeness of ovaries, or the number of efforts one has to undergo, while new reproductive technologies are supposed to give the opportunity to choose the moment of becoming a parent, to expand age limitations, to beat time. However, time is strongly related to money. Time is money and money is time, in the sense that the passage of time costs money to people who wish to become parents, while the ones who have money are able to confront time limitations since they can afford better and more expensive treatment. From this perspective assisted reproduction connects the desire for children with the market economy and becoming a parent equals to having the opportunity to pay for parenthood.

Even so, the notion of motherhood as a gift -in Greece ovaries and surrogate motherhood are legally excluded from the market and can only be given as a gift- and the sheer emphasis on the medicalization of the process and the role of the experts hides the interrelation of kinship to market and underscores the fact that kinship, after all, is an expensive product that not all people can afford.

Panel W002
Markets, kinship and morality